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Lily O’Brien’s win at Content Marketing Awards

3 min read

Rob Shine, Content Director

by Rob Shine, Content Director

Core Creative

We’re pleased to report that Lily O’Brien’s was awarded Gold at last night’s Irish Content Marketing Awards in the International Campaign category. This is a ‘One Core’ team win, with deserved recognition for each Practice involved; Strategy, Creative, Media, Investment and Research.

To ‘share’ the story behind its success, here’s a little taster of the award entry.

Lily O’Brien’s is a well-known and much-loved brand in Ireland, where it’s seen as a premium chocolate, often reserved for gifting occasions. The same is not true in the UK, where prompted awareness is significantly lower. The key objective, therefore, was to significantly grow awareness in the UK and to stand out from a sea of established chocolate brands.

Step one was to find the right target audience. For Lily O’Brien’s to modernise, research revealed it would need to appeal to younger buyers than their typical customer. The brand defined the target audience as ‘Modern Pacers’: life-loving women who are ambitious but still don’t take themselves too seriously.

The way this target approached life, armed us with a key insight. People don’t need to be told they can treat themselves to chocolate; that’s patronising. However, they do have years of social encoding telling them it’s better to give, than to receive. This, we realised, can create tension. We decided therefore to use the fact that Lily O’Brien’s is often seen as a brand for gifting to our advantage. To make the campaign stand out, and highlight self-treat occasions, we depicted the dilemma of those faced with a choice between gifting, sharing or eating.

Lily O’Brien’s. Share Wisely.


The ‘Share Wisely’ creative platform playfully explored the fact that there are some things we are happy to share, and others we should keep to ourselves. To deliver the playful message, the campaign focused on social, YouTube, press and a podcast, as well as dynamic messaging and display. The first phase of the campaign ran in the Irish and UK markets from September through to early December 2018.



Our content strategy was anchored to our creative platform and brand idea, which shone through in each execution.

For Lily O’Brien’s, the “Share Wisely” campaign represented a huge step forward in the UK market – and provided an engaging, relevant brand platform that they can build on for years to come. The campaign successfully increased awareness in the UK, with subsequent increases in sales. Crucially, it successfully moved the brand away from the gifting territory alone – and helped it stand out from the competition in the eyes of its target audience.

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